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NEWS | Sept. 11, 2017

Jumping for a cause

By Sgt. Christopher Osburn 314th Press Camp Headquarters

The flooding and storm damage caused by Hurricane Harvey have disrupted countless lives. With schools shut down or destroyed, many students are forced to travel farther distances to receive the education they want. One local school, however, is doing something to help. Nation Ford High School is raising money to help those students, and their principal is doing all he can to motivate them.

“We raised $3000 on the first day,” said Jason Johns, Nation Ford High School principal. “And I told the students that if they matched that on the next day, I would jump from a plane.”

On Thursday, Sept. 7, Johns tumbled out of an airplane at approximately 13,000 feet from the ground as part of an Army Reserve Tandem Jump Camp on McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Hopkins, South Carolina. 

The three-day tandem jump camp, executed by the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, offered a unique opportunity to connect local community leaders with Army Reserve Ambassadors and bridge the gap between leaders, their professions and the Army Reserve. The event was sponsored by the 81st Regional Support Command and the U.S. Army Reserve. 

The event also featured a small workshop where the guests learned about the Army Reserve and had the opportunity to drive a distracted driver simulator vehicle. 

Forty plus local community leaders participated in the event, and once the jump was complete, they were all made honorary Army Reserve Ambassadors.

Johns said he was amazed by the many opportunities the Army Reserve offers and how very pro-educational the Army Reserve is.

“The opportunity the Army Reserve has, the places you can go, and the abundant skill sets that can be learned set up limitless opportunities,” he said.

About 10% of the school is active in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program at the school.

Nation Ford has always supported the Armed Forces and is grateful for the opportunity to help others in need, said Johns. 

The school raised $7,500 in three days and its goal is to raise $10,000 by the end of the week. Johns said that the money will be donated in such a way that the students who have been displaced will be able to spend it on their necessities.